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17-10-2009, 15:35   #16
 
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Originally Posted by westtip View Post
Really despite the hammering the arts is taking in the UK as well - they are relatively well placed (compared to this cultural desert) with reasonable opera, but then there are 60 odd million people there - so it is all relative I suppose.
Nothing to do with population I'm afraid. Look at cities like Vilnius - half a million people but with a fabulous, flourishing opera.
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18-10-2009, 19:57   #17
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This weeks opera in Ireland

Don't know what I did to this post but managed to edit out all the information I had put in about Wexford, Opera Theatre Company, Met broadcasts etc.- sorry will try and update it later today

Opera at the Cinema: also look at this web site and scroll down to ireland http://www.operaincinema.com/opera_dates.htm

Bellinis I Puritani at http://www.imccinemas.ie/default.asp?idcinema=24

Only showing at two imc cinemas Athlone and Dundalk - Athlone doable from West Dublin in about an hour now on the motorway - only ten euro for tickets - I am really not sure where this production is from, the informaton on the IMC website is pretty scant - my guess is it is this one judging by the pic on the IMC website - which seems to match the one in this link http://www.emergingpictures.com/puritani.htm - This was recorded at the Teatro communale in bologna and feature Juan Diego florez in the role of Arturo worth going to hear this in HD - he is quite superb in this kind of role

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qtS1T - worht looking at - Rest of the cast:

Ugo Guagliardo (Lord Gualtiero Valton)
Ildebrando D’Arcangelo (Sir Giorgio)
Juan Diego Florez (Lord Arturo Talbo)
Gabriele Viviani (Sir Riccardo Forth)
Gianluca Floris (Sir Bruno Robertson)
Nadia Pirazzini (Enrichetta di Francia)
Nino Machaidze (Elvira)


Synopsis of the opera the opera here http://www.musicwithease.com/i-puritani-synopsis.html

The trailer on this site is superb http://www.emergingpictures.com/puritani_trailer.htm [QUOTE/]

Just an amendment to this post the recorded performance of I Puritani is been shown at one or two other cinemas later this week look at the operaincinema.com website and route through to whats showing in Ireland:

Omniplex Galway Galway Retail Park
Headford Road, Galway I PURITANI: 1st and 2nd Nov

Omniplex Cork Mahon Point Shopping Centre
Mahon, Co Cork I PURITANI: 25th and 26th Oct


Well worth going to - saw it last night in Athlone - Nino Machaidze (Elvira) is sensational in this performance - and the last act Duet between her and Juan Diego Florez (Lord Arturo Talbo) was quite something else! Florez was brilliant in the Vieni Vieni aria. Other hightlights the superb choral work, the 3rd act duet between Riccardo and Valton, the A te Cara and the mad scene (quite superb)....and of course the incredibly bizarre ending to what is one of the most bizarre operas in the repertoire. For ten euro in Athlone it was a snip.

Last edited by westtip; 20-10-2009 at 09:30.
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26-10-2009, 13:40   #18
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Any reports from Wexford?

I hear the hit of the festival is the Donizetti Mara Padilla - I guess this was to be expected. I didn't make it this year - Any views from those that did.
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26-10-2009, 21:02   #19
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This weeks offerings: Week commencing 26th

Really quite a bumper week in our fair isle,

Tonight 26th sorry a bit late to notify but the I Puritani mentioned in a post above on screen in on in Cork, also next week on the 1st and 2nd in Galway - check out www.operaincinema.com and juswt click through to whats on in Irealnd - this is well worth going to see.

Opera North - the regional UK opera company with their home in Leeds bring two really worthwhile productions to audience at the Grand Opera House in Belfast Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutti on 28th and 30th and Werthers Massenet on 29th and 31st. www.operanorth.co.uk

Both of these are well worth the trip - I hear the Massenet is particularly good.

The North also has a treat in stall in Armagh on 27th with OTC Alcina also on in Tallaght on 29th. www.opera.ie

And of course Wexford festival Opera continues all week with the three main showings on consecutivve nights of the week - I hear the Maria Padilla has some great singing voices in it. visit the website www.wexfordopera.com for latest ticket news.

Went to the Aida from the Met at the cinema on Saturday - actually a bit disappointing not my favourite Verdi Opera and the broadcast in the first act was affected by the bad weather - but a full house at the IMC at Dun Laoghaire, 300 or so people on a wet saturday night.

Opera Ireland still has tickets for the upcoming season so get on line and book to go if you can. Any news from anyone else on Opera in Ireland??

So here is an opera diary for the week: Monday I Puritani on screen in Cork, Tuesday Alcina in Armagh, Wed Cosi in Belfast, Thursday Werther in Belfast, Friday, ghost of Versailles, Saturday Double Bill Une Éducation Manquée / La Cambiale di Matrimonio Sunday Maria Padiollathe three offerings from Wexford - A different opera every night in Ireland is possible this week!!!!

Last edited by westtip; 26-10-2009 at 21:09.
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26-10-2009, 23:05   #20
 
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A different opera every night in Ireland is possible this week!!!!
Well worth the "!!!!" marks.

I recommend the Alcina. Its on in a few other locations around the country also. Check their site. Wasnt as good as the Xerxes earlier in the year but good nonetheless.

Too late, but dont think the Lyric Opera Carmen in the NCH got a mention here. Was well performed and sung. Impressed by Claudia Boyle - fine voice.
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27-10-2009, 11:10   #21
 
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I hear the hit of the festival is the Donizetti Mara Padilla - I guess this was to be expected. I didn't make it this year - Any views from those that did.
Hi Westtip,
Yes, I was there on Friday. In fact I'm still in Wexford as the kids are off school this week.
I didn't particularly like the production, but the singing was stupendous. I haven't got time now - I'll write in a bit more detail this evening.
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28-10-2009, 10:17   #22
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Well worth the "!!!!" marks.

I recommend the Alcina. Its on in a few other locations around the country also. Check their site. Wasnt as good as the Xerxes earlier in the year but good nonetheless.

Too late, but dont think the Lyric Opera Carmen in the NCH got a mention here. Was well performed and sung. Impressed by Claudia Boyle - fine voice.
Sandwich thanks. Vivian will never forgive me for not including his shows! He does such a great job on limited resources. I had not checked out his latest offerings - Opera nut I maybe but I am afraid Carmen is just the one in the repertoire I would not give a dime for! Just one of those things and nothing will ever persaude me.

I'm going to OTC in Galway next week - they are such a great company at this kind of opera.

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Hi Westtip,
Yes, I was there on Friday. In fact I'm still in Wexford as the kids are off school this week.
I didn't particularly like the production, but the singing was stupendous. I haven't got time now - I'll write in a bit more detail this evening.
Jonny yes I heard the singing was really wonderful in the Maria Padilla. Did you catch anything else. I didn't hear good things about the double bill.

Last edited by westtip; 28-10-2009 at 10:20.
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29-10-2009, 13:47   #23
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Great News for Opera lovers in the North West!!

The following press release has gone out today about Live HD broadcasts of the New York Met Opera Saturday Matinees - performed live in NY City Lincoln centre at 1.00 pm local time 6.00 pm irish time - the Gaiety Cinema in Sligo had been due to start broadcasting these events with the first opera Tosca four weeks ago - and Aida last Saturday - there are 7 more broadcasts being done every two weeks starting from November 7th with Puccini's Turandot - the one that includes the iamous Nessun Dorma at the end of the opera for those not into opera - this is a great way to see international standard opera - and here in Sligo - If you have never tried opera - give this a go, you never know you might get bitten by the bug, and if you are an opera fan in the north west well just enjoy, here is the chance to see one of the great opera companies of the world with stellar casts in an entirely new way....

Had to put this one up on the thread as its also great news for me as it means I don't have to drive down the N17 to get to Galway to these performances!!!! Well done the Gaiety in Sligo.

Press ReleaseNovember 2009

Opera Live
at
GCG, Sligo


The Metropolitan Opera Live via satellite from New York for the first time to GCG, gaiety cinema group, 12 Screen Multiplex, Wine St, Sligo.
The Met Live in HD Season begins in Sligo on Saturday 7th November
with a
New Production of Puccini’s Turandot
Tickets for this are now on sale at GCG Sligo.


Following the success of the inaugural Opera Ireland presents the MET Live in HD series last season, tickets for the fourth season of the Metropolitan Opera’s popular, award-winning series of live transmissions to GCG, Sligo are on sale now. 24 hour c/c booking 1520927011, www.gaietysligo.com or office hours on 071-9162651 .

Due to the phenomenal success and popularity of the first season in Ireland last year, Opera Ireland in association with RTE Lyric fm has expanded the number of venues and locations to include eleven cinemas and theatres around the country North and South. Ticket prices are €25 each.

The 2009-10 season, featuring seven live opera transmissions, opens in Sligo on Saturday, November 7th at 6pm with Maria Guleghina and Marcello Giordani in Puccini’s Turandot.

More than 900 theaters in 42 countries around the world are participating in The Met: Live in HD this season. A record number of more than 1.8 million Live in HD tickets were sold last season.



Four other new productions are featured in the series, including Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann starring Joseph Calleja in the title role, with Anna Netrebko and Alan Held; Bizet’s Carmen starring Elīna Garanča and Roberto Alagna; Natalie Dessay and Simon Keenlyside in Thomas’s Hamlet; and Rossini’s Armida starring Renée Fleming. The HD season also includes Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier with Fleming and Susan Graham; and Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra starring Plácido Domingo, singing the title role for the first time at the Met. James Levine leads four of the HD transmissions. Complete casting and details of the season’s Live in HD performances follows below.

Commenting on the expansion of the Met live series in Ireland, Niall Doyle, Chief Executive Opera Ireland stated “One of the developments of our last season was Opera Ireland’s partnership with the Metropolitan Opera bringing the spectacular Met Live in HD live opera relays from New York to Ireland for the first time. Thanks to the huge success of that initial test programme and the demand all around the country, we are delighted this season to expand to a countrywide network of 11 venues. We hope to bring a whole new audience to opera in Ireland as well as enriching the operatic menu for already committed opera fans.”

The Met: Live in HD series is made possible by a generous grant from the Neubauer Family Foundation. Bloomberg L.P. is the global corporate sponsor of The Met: Live in HD. The HD broadcasts are supported by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®.

For further information, images or to reserve your press tickets please contact:
(Paul Keenan, General Manager, GCG, gaiety cinema group, 12 Screen Multiplex, Wine St, Sligo 071-9162651 )

Last edited by westtip; 29-10-2009 at 23:44.
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31-10-2009, 09:58   #24
 
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Jonny yes I heard the singing was really wonderful in the Maria Padilla. Did you catch anything else. I didn't hear good things about the double bill.
I'm finally back at home and able to report back about Wexford.
The only opera I saw was Maria Padilla, and as I said the singing was stupendous. While it's true that Donizetti is mostly predictable formulas of "cavatina + recitative + cabaletta" etc, this particular opera had a number of unusual characteristics. Firstly, the ardent boyfriend is a baritone and the heroine's father is a tenor, secondly there is an exquisite duet for the two sisters (soprano + mezzo), and thirdly there is a mad-scene for the tenor rather than the soprano.
The best voices were the American Barbara Quintiliani (Maria), the tenor Adriano Graziani (Maria's father) and the baritone Marco Caria.
The staging was of the "black box" school - i.e. the action just takes place in a non-descript place, devoid of any particular location or period, which was a bit ridiculous as there are many place names mentioned in the text - Castile (Spain), France, Paris etc. The costumes were modern - the male choir singers wore tuxedos with white shirts and black bow ties which made them look as if members of the audience had quickly jumped on stage. The worst thing about the staging was that it did nothing to highlight the progression of the story - it was hard to know what was going on even with subtitles. And the scenery was ridiculous - something which resembled a gigantic pile of lego in act one, chairs going up and down in act two. Sigh. But it was worth seeing for the singing, and to be reminded of the amazing acoustics in the Wexford theatre.
I also heard the Prague Chamber Choir, who sang a selection of a-capella pieces by famous and less-famous czech composers. One particular piece by Martinu stood out. The way they sing this complex music unaccompanied without the slightest wavering of pitch is nothing short of miraculous. Food for the soul.
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31-10-2009, 10:00   #25
 
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Prague Chamber Choir

Here's the program of the concert (lifted from the Wexford Festival Website):

Alessandro Scarlatti (1660 – 1725): Exsultate Deo
Tomasso Ludovico da Vittoria (1540-1611): Magnum mysterium
Bohuslav Martinů(1890 – 1959): Romance Z Pampelisèk (1957)
Claude Debussy (1862-1918): Trois Chansons de Charles d’Orleans (1898-1908)
Arnost Parsch (1936): Bohemia – Víno
Jozef Swider (b1930): Cantus Gloriosus
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01-11-2009, 16:10   #26
 
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Cosi Fan Tutte ossia La Scuola degle Amanti (They're Fickle Bitches - But That's Women for Ya, or, Dont Ya Just Love 'em Anyway).


Saw the Opera North performance in Belfast. Hadnt seen it in a while and enjoyed it very much. Production looked very well (revival of a 2004 one, dont remember it coming to this isle) and acting was engaging. Singing so so but no real flaws, just consistently OK. Orchestral playing was nice but a little muffled from the BGOH pit. The English translation good also but the usual caveat with this option - regular jarring when it you dont hear the original words you know so well.

Hopefully the packed house will encourage more frequent returns.

Debate clearup for anyone else who has seen this box camera set. For me : the camera was turned on us the audience - when opened we saw the image of ourselves enacted on stage. For my companion: the audience was the photographer, a voyeur on the characters it was observing. Or maybe it was something altogether
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02-11-2009, 00:08   #27
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Offerings for this week - anything to add please do so!

Slightly less pickings on offer for opera goers this week in Ireland after a bumper week last week.

OTC continue with Alcina in Galway Dundalk and Cork on 3rd 5th and 7th rescpectively.

I Puritani on screen in Cork on the 2nd

and Turandot live from the Met next Saturday 7th at various locations including yippee for me! Sligo.

Any other operatic recitials etc then please do add....
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04-11-2009, 22:53   #28
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this weeks NY Met opera offering is Turandot here is a preview of the opera

This saturdays opera is an interesting one Turandot the final opera from the Maestro Puccini, the last act of the score was actually arranged by the famous conductor Toscanini who conducted the premier after the maestros death.

A synopsis of the opera is here: http://www.metoperafamily.org/metope...sis.aspx?id=26

Of course the finale of the opera contains one of the great anthems of the operatic repertoire - Nessun dorma - made so famous as his signature tune by the late great Luciano Pavorotti.

Listen to the great man sing it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cr5vpHtJIlg

The other big show stopper is the great Questa Reggia to be heard by the main protaganist of the opera Turandot herself

here is a recording of one of the greats singing it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSSLt...eature=related

the unmistakable voice of Callas.

The final scene of the MY Met in 1988 can be viewed here - i think the Saturday show is a new production but this will give you an idea of how the NY met does "Grand Opera"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoTa-b7cUw0

Enjoy these clips and enjoy the opera if you go....
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08-11-2009, 00:28   #29
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Turandot tonight - review

Well I consider myself lucky enough to have seen a lot of opera in my life, and digging through my programmes before attending tonights Turandot HD live Met broadcast I realised the last time I saw Turandot was in December 1997, I was in NY City and it was the very same magnificent famous Zefferelli production.

Zefferelli is not only a talented opera director he is also very blessed and very fortunate in his career to have been handed the dollars he was to produce such a sumptious show, with this one, he must be the envy of opera directors around the world. The Met Turandot is Cinematic in its proportions (like his famous Met La Boheme production), this production lent itself well to this form of cinematic HD telecast operatic experience. It is a production of immense proportions - that only a house like the Met is truly capable of and which the more traditional New York opera audienceds demand.

Watching the opera in this format on the big screen with the huge Zefferelli sets and detail involved in this production right down to the long finger nails, reminded me a litttle of watching those great classic 1930s and 1940s Hollywood movies of the Astaire and Rogers variety, cinematic scale sets on the cinema screen.

The Met have assembled a wonderful cast for this production, and importantly the four main principals all shone, although some more than others; Maria Poplavskaya as Liu, Marcello Giordani as Calaf and Maria Guleghina as Turandot and The old hand Samuel Ramey as Timur, but the shining star is without a doubt Maria Poplavskaya - I just googled her and found this piece in the London Evening Standard:

The Royal Opera House will name an unknown Russian soprano as one of the stars of its new season. As Elisabetta in Verdi's Don Carlo, Marina Poplavskaya, 29, will sing a role originally earmarked for Angela Gheorghiu, who withdrew on the grounds that it did not suit her voice.

After tonights viewing on HD broadcast to opera goers globally this voice is no longer an unknown Russian Soprano - she is a voice we are all going to be making an effort to go and hear. Her commanding and soaring voice will truly be something to relish in the great verdi roles. Make it to London if you can for her Elisabetta, it is something to look forward to.

Maria Guleghina was quite frightening in her Questa Reggia in what was a stunning second act, Calaf, Marcello Giordani who showed signs of strain in the second act had a good gargle in the interview and shone in his showpiece Nessun Dorma. He has the true robust volume required to satisfy the vocal demands of this huge house and is showpiece was quite rightly well received by the New Yorkers. Samuel Ramey as Timur was workmanlike and maybe his best days are past him, he seemed a bit tired in the role today.

The supporting roles of Ping Pang and Pong wre very ably sung the second act trio and pantomine they play was both well acted and sung by the trio.

This opera is a strange one. There is little doubt that both Calaf and Turandot deserve each other in the end. Calaf proves what a prick he is after the death of Liu. Tonight I saw this is Sligo - there was a minor technical difficulty in the first act which apparently was experienced in all irish cinemas showing the opera, once they turned the volume up half way through the first act this was a good night out and a good operatic experience. It is not the same as live opera in the theatre, but nevertheless is an added bonus for opera fans in many corners of the globe far removed from the great opera houses of the world. I hope Calaf and Turandot will be very happy together, he wanted her for the money and she realised after executing so many suitors she was likely to end on the shelf, I left the cinema tonight realising they are the most shallow couple in opera!

The other good news was being able to catch the last hour of Maria Padilla on the radio on the way home! Some fine singing in that performance as othes have reported - I see what you mean johny.

Last edited by westtip; 08-11-2009 at 14:19.
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09-11-2009, 19:34   #30
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This weeks operatic offerings - Not much!

Really after fairly rich offerings for opera goers in ireland we have a bit of a lull before the autumn season from opera ireland.

No cinematic opera to report this week that I can find anyway; and the only thing I can find is the Frederica von Stade celebrity concert at the NcH on Thursday (12th).

Now don't get me wrong - FvS is one of the finest singers of her generation - and if this concert were 20 years ago i would be queuing up for returns; the fact is this is a farewell tour concert which always makes me step away. If you have not seen or heard her sing go along - it will be your last chance to hear her live in Ireland, but I prefer to remember her at her best 25 years ago in Covent Garden.

The programme on offer is not that challenging and well says a lot. Hearing her in Nozze di Figaro in the mid 1980s will stay in my mind:

Reminded myself with this link even earlier in her career - I just love this aria, this one is from a sublime Figaro in the 1970s at Glyndebourne and no I did not (unfortunatley) see it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7y3_...om=PL&index=19

The highly successful OTC Alcina tour is now over, it was I think their best Handel effort for a long time - what a tremendous company OTC is.

If I hear of anything mid week will post up - if you know of anything else post it up.

And do enjoy that Cherubino artia - I think we will make it aria of the week and good luck on Thursday Frederica you do have a wonderful voice and thanks for a great career.
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